Looking at the content of the mobile without permission, preventing the use of the mobile, threatening through messages, posting hurtful messages online or posting private images are various forms of abuse or digital violence between couples .
According to a recent study published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence and carried out by researchers from Florida Atlantic University (FAU), in adolescents aged 12-17 years who have an affective relationship, boys report experiencing it more (32%) than girls (24 %) .
Violence between the sexes
The study is based on survey data collected from a nationally representative sample of 2,218 American middle and high school students (12-17 years old) who had been in a romantic relationship.
About 28% of students in a relationship in the previous year had been victims of digital dating abuse. Boys were more likely to report experiencing this situation (32% compared to 24% of girls) .
There were four risk factors for this digital abuse:
- Have had sexual intercourse.
- Sending sexually explicit messages / images (sexting)
- Suffer depression
- Having suffered cyberbullying
In fact, boys were also more likely to have suffered physical attacks from their partner. In addition to these gender differences, the researchers found no significant demographic differences regarding the rate of digital abuse between different ethnicities, ages, or sexual orientations. As Sameer Hinduja , lead author of the study and professor at the Faculty of Criminology and Criminal Justice at FAU’s Faculty of Design and Social Research, and co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center, explains:
Girls may use more violence against their boyfriends to try to solve relationship problems while boys try to restrain their aggressive impulses when trying to negotiate discords with their girlfriends. It is clear that digital dating abuse affects a significant proportion of teens, and we need to model and educate young people about what constitutes a healthy and stable relationship and what reveals a dysfunctional and problematic one.
Most of the students who had been abused online (81%) were also abused offline and the majority of those who were abused offline (63%) were also abused online, that is, we are not talking about totally separate plans from each other .
Another research recently published by researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Simon Fraser University (SFU) also suggested that it is more likely that teens report being victims of dating violence consisting of punches, slaps and shoves.
The researchers looked at data collected from three British Columbia adolescent health surveys conducted over a 10-year period. The participants were 35,900 students between the ages of 7 and 12 who were in relationships . This is the first North American study to compare statistics on boys and girls and the first Canadian study to look at teen dating violence over the course of a decade. In addition, they concluded that young people who experience violence during the relationship are more likely to act and take unnecessary risks, and are also more likely to experience depression, and to think or attempt suicide.
The researchers caution that more studies are needed to clarify why adolescent boys are experiencing an increase in intimate partner violence. Elizabeth Saewyc , lead author of the study and a UBC professor of nursing, thinks the results tell us that teens in dating relationships need more support programs:
Many of our interventions assume that the girl is always the victim, but these findings tell us that this is not always the case. And violence in relationships, be it physical, sexual or other forms, and no matter who the perpetrator is, is never okay. Health care providers, parents and caregivers, schools, and others can protect teens from dating violence by helping them define healthy relationships, even before their first date.